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Periodisation According to Authenticity, or Creating Vigorous Borderlines in Nineteenth-century Architectural History

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Historians of architecture and the applied arts in the late nineteenth century developed a peculiar notion of a borderline around 1840: before that date, they maintained, designing and building was done largely unconsciously and styles emerged somehow authentically from various national or regional groups, whereas from 1840 onwards everything was done consciously and artificially. This article discusses the emergence of that notion of a borderline and the way in which it entailed and furthered strong beliefs in the ethnicity of design, and especially of workmanship, and the way the values of authenticity and traditionality were tied in with that materiality.
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Keywords: (Neo-)vernacular; Architectural Styles; Architectural Theory; Authenticity; National and Regional Identities

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2006

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